Implementing a fleet tracking system is one of the best investments small business fleets can make right now. Fleet tracking solutions are already highly prevalent with medium- and large-scale fleet owners who use them to streamline their operations. Unfortunately, in many cases, small fleet owners are not taking advantage of this technology to the same degree as their larger fleet peers.
For small fleet owners, the rate of adoption for fleet tracking has been slow. Some of the factors contributing to this are restricted operation scale, lack of awareness, smaller budgets, high capital requirements, increasing operational costs, and limited compliance norms. Small business owners sometimes have misconceptions about fleet tracking. Most believe that it’s too expensive or it doesn’t provide benefits to small fleets. Additionally, they often assume it’s only for large businesses.
Fleet tracking provides many benefits to small business fleets. If you’re a small fleet owner or involved in small fleet management, consider fleet tracking a beneficial addition to your business. This article will outline fleet tracking basics and explain four significant ways fleet tracking helps small business fleets.
What is Fleet Tracking?
Fleet tracking, at its core, is straightforward. It involves the use of GPS to monitor and track the activity of fleet assets (vehicles). Fleet tracking collects data in real-time, using telematics technology, from your vehicles. Businesses can then make strategic decisions about operations based on fleet tracking data.
For fleet tracking to be optimally effective, it requires tracking software that can interpret the large volume of data generated by the fleet. Fleet tracking software can display this information in user-friendly dashboards.
A fleet tracking system has three essential components: the tracking device, the tracking server, and the user interface. Attached to each vehicle is a GPS-equipped tracking device that captures information like the vehicles’ location and time. This information can also include information on the engine’s temperature, the vehicle’s altitude, tire pressure, battery status, idling information, the engine’s RPM, and more.
The GPS tracking device transmits data to a centralized server, where it is processed and stored. This server is the hub for all the information the small fleet management will need. It should be secure and reliable, allowing fleet managers to access information whenever and wherever they need it.
Finally, the user interface is the software program or app that managers use to interact with the fleet tracking data. Managers of small fleets can generate reports using the information within the interface.
The Benefits of Fleet Tracking for Small Fleet Owners
Fleet tracking helps small businesses by allowing small fleet owners and operators to quickly locate the closest driver for a job, reducing per-mile costs. This software also alerts managers and drivers to traffic congestion and poor weather. It can then provide alternative routes to help drivers avoid potential delays.
Fleet tracking increases how flexibly fleets can dispatch a vehicle and improves the accuracy of vehicle routing. This improved dispatching helps a small fleet keep expenses down. Data from fleet tracking software can help identify vehicles producing less return on investment (ROI) and those needing replacement or retirement. It also can help small fleet management select which vehicles should be sold or relocated.
Reduce Maintenance Costs
Small fleet owners know that taking even one truck out of rotation can cause a scheduling disaster that reduces productivity and even goes so far as to affect customers. Preventative maintenance can help keep your vehicles out of the shop and on the road.
Fleet tracking can help streamline the process for routine maintenance (oil changes, tire rotations, etc.). This simplification of everyday processes can help decrease expenses and keep all fleet vehicles in a safe operating condition.
Some of the data collected by fleet tracking devices include engine diagnostics, engine hour tracking, driver behavior data, and service records tracking.
Improve Fuel Economy
Accurately tracking fuel costs can be a challenge for small fleet management, no matter how much experience they may have. Luckily, fleet tracking devices can help small fleet managers improve their fleet’s fuel economy.
Fleet tracking can help managers leverage reliable fuel transaction data to track the cost of miles per gallon. It can even assist in pointing out causes of high fuel consumption, like unauthorized fill-ups.
Small fleets can drastically cut down on idling and wasted fuel by using fleet tracking technologies. Fleet tracking logs vehicle idle times, inoperative vehicles, and engine status. Managers can use this data to identify drivers who are wasting fuel.
Enhanced Vehicle and Driver Safety
Small fleet owners should also take advantage of fleet tracking to enhance vehicle and driver safety. Safety is essential for all businesses, but perhaps especially for small business owners who often have a personal relationship with their workers.
Fleet tracking helps improve driver safety by monitoring every fleet vehicle’s location and speed. Managers can be provided with real-time alerts when speeding incidents or other risky driving behaviors (like fast acceleration and hard braking) happen. In emergencies, fleet tracking helps drivers with live location tracking, enabling a quicker response for those needing assistance.
Small business fleet management is challenging at the best of times. Fleet tracking technology can help make the job easier and provides several benefits to small business fleets. Improved route optimization and risk management are two of the most significant ways small business fleets can benefit.
To learn more about how fleet management software works, check out Azuga. The technology offered in their advanced fleet tracking system, Azuga Fleet™, is ideal for fleets of all sizes.